According to the USDA, Alfalfa is the fourth biggest crop harvested in the US. Alfalfa is used both in its raw form and as food supplements. Benefits include a positive impact on bladder and prostate conditions, kidney conditions, and an increase in urine flow. It also has a positive impact on high cholesterol, diabetes and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4. The pea family, native to Asia, also contains calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium. The supplements are sometimes recommended for osteoarthritis, asthma, diabetes, upset stomach, rheumatoid arthritis, and thrombocytopenic purpura (a bleeding disorder).
Alfalfa is a good source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K aids blood clotting when you hurt yourself or undergo surgery. Your intestines create some vitamin K, but most come from nutritious foods. Vitamin K deficiency causes excessive bleeding. The daily requirements for women are 90 micrograms and for men is 120 micrograms. One cup of alfalfa sprouts has 10.1 micrograms. Vitamin K helps your body make proteins for healthy tissue and bones, as well as blood clotting.
In animal studies, alfalfa extract shows promising results in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. It decreases blood glucose, triglycerides and LDL, and total cholesterol, and increases beneficial HDL cholesterol. Alfalfa might help rebuild damaged cells in the liver and pancreas. Other studies confirm that alfalfa also decreases blood glucose, and this, in turn, reduces overall cholesterol and triglycerides. These benefits could help to prevent complications related to diabetes.
Animal studies show that alfalfa can lower blood cholesterol levels. Studies have confirmed this benefit in humans. A study of 15 volunteers involved eating alfalfa seeds three times daily and resulted in 17 percent decreased total cholesterol and 18 percent reduction in bad LDL cholesterol by 18% within eight weeks.
The high content of saponins in alfalfa impacts it's its cholesterol-busting attributes. Saponins decrease the absorption of cholesterol in your gut and increase the excretion of cholesterol forming compounds.
Alfalfa has weak estrogen-like properties and has been used to help women with menopausal symptoms. It's a great source of phytoestrogens, believed to play an important role in the prevention of the symptoms of menopause. Phytoestrogens are weaker than human estrogens. However, by binding to the estrogen receptors, they help stabilize the impact of estrogen.
Eating one cup of alfalfa sprouts gives you 2.7mg 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C you need every day to build a strong immune system and maintain healthy skin.
Also known as ascorbic acid, it's found in large quantities in fruits and vegetables. This water-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant which helps you maintain connective tissue like blood vessels, bones, and skin.
You need Vitamin C for the biosynthesis of L-carnitine, collagen and some neurotransmitters, and it helps your body metabolize protein.
Alfalfa sprouts alleviate digestive ailments and tooth decay and inflammation. They contain many digestive enzymes, including lipase, amylase, coagulase, invertase, peroxidase, pectinase, and proteases. Working together, these enzymes promote a healthy digestive system.
Eating alfalfa sprouts reduces indigestion and gas because it aids in proper food digestion. This is thanks to digestive enzymes that facilitate the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that sometimes cause an upset stomach.
Alfalfa helps treat inflammation because it has powerful antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals. Animal studies have confirmed this. According to studies, alfalfa reduces DNA damage and cell death due to free radicals by lowering the body's production of free radicals. This improves your ability to fight them. One study found that alfalfa treatment helped to reduce the damage due to stroke or brain injury in mice.
Alfalfa sprouts are a powerful source of isoflavones and other phytoestrogens, plant compounds that imitate human estrogen. This impacts the body's ability to fight breast cancer. Studies show that eating these and other soy foods with high amounts of isoflavones decrease the risk of death and can even reduce the recurrence of disease in breast cancer patients.
Vitamin K helps the body build bones and can help treat osteoporosis. You use vitamin K to absorb calcium, the bodybuilder in our bodies. Thanks to a better understanding of how vitamin K helps the body, we now know that it has an important impact on bone health.
The daily recommended intake of Vitamin K has increased by 50 percent since ongoing studies connect bone health to higher levels of the vitamin. Alfalfa sprouts also contain manganese, an essential nutrient that prevents osteoporosis and inflammation.
In traditional usage, these sprouts were used as a poultice applied directly to wounds and injuries to speed up healing and prevent infection. Antioxidants in alfalfa protect the injured area. Meanwhile, other minerals and nutrients increase blood flow to the injury. This causes the body to increase the rate of repair for quicker healing. The high concentration of protein in consumed alfalfa boosts growth, repair, and development.
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